By Brian Yogodzinski
Delays during the morning rush hours while heading northbound on South Alafaya Trail have increased since the shift of traffic patterns on May 18th. Some of these delays have caused the traffic to back to Avalon Park Boulevard, which is an abnormal condition. Drivers are most likely wondering why the transition to the newly paved surfaces has increased the delays. The root cause of this issue is the way the project is being managed.
With the transition to the new traffic pattern, there are more construction activities occurring on the east side of Alafaya Trail. Not only are these construction activities occurring but they are occurring at multiple locations of the project. The delays are a result of trucks and equipment entering and exiting the work area during the peak traffic hours of 7-9 am.
This situation can be improved. The impact to rush hour traffic can be minimized, by ensuring that all workers and equipment are in their work areas prior to 7 am and remain in those areas until after 9 am. This also necessitates that deliveries should be scheduled so that there are minimal vehicles entering and exiting the worksites from 7-9am. This would require that vehicles that supply or remove items from the work area should be staged prior to 7 am to avoid entry on to Alafaya Trail from 7-9 am and also wait to exit after 9 am.
As with previous topics, project management should focus on topics that keep the project progressing and at the same time minimize impact to the public. The foundation for this to occur is communication and anticipation of the impacts on the public. Potential impacts should be communicated to those working in the areas and the situation assessed to implement solutions that minimize the impact to the public. It was thought that this lesson had previously been learned, as this topic was addressed at the beginning of the project by the County when equipment was using and crossing the roadway during peak traffic hours, but apparently not.
Brian Yogodzinski is a Mechanical Engineer from North Carolina State University with 25 years of experience, primarily in the power generation business. During that time he became a specialist in the area of Transportation Engineering for the movement of over-dimensional and over-weight components such as power plant generators, combustion turbines, and steam turbines, with typical components ranging from 110,000 pounds to 1,000,000 pounds. He has extensive experience working with state and local authorities to ensure regulation compliances and safe transit of these commodities in the public domain. He currently works for a firm that builds equipment for and constructs power plants.